Muppet Wiki

Talk:Duke Ellington

27,124pages on
this wiki

Back to page

Talk pages are no longer used.
Please use the Forum for discussing article changes.

Reference

Nick added this passage: "In the special A Walking Tour of Sesame Street with James Earl Jones, Jones' introduction includes a subtle reference to 'Flugel Street Rag,' an Ellington song. Saying he's on the most famous street in the world, he continues that 'it's not Flugel Street, and it's not Pennsylvania Avenue… It's not even the street where you live!.'" It's actually not really clear *what* Flugel Street was referring to, thirty years later. It's true that Ellington co-wrote a song with that title, in 1965, but it doesn't appear to be widely known or performed (that's just going by the internet and books, of course, which aren't always the best judges of these things when it comes to music). I can't find the full lyrics, but it seems possible that the Ellington title was in itself a reference to an old burlesque/vaudeville routine, performed by Abbott and Costello and others, which asks "Where's Flugel Street?" That routine is the primary result when one does a Google Book Search and it seems reasonable that the Ellington song *may* have been playing with that, but I can't find a copy of the song itself or its lyrics online to check (and even the Ellington biographies merely treat it as something to be footnoted in the song index). Jones says the line, but Jim Thurman wrote it and, given his sense of humor and the sometimes obscure references in his scripts (both with and outside of Sesame/the Muppets), the vaudeville connection seems more likely. So I'm mostly just parking this. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:57, November 6, 2009 (UTC)

Aha. A little more detective work shows Ellington wrote the song for a Broadway musical Pousse-Café, which closed after three performances, and which at the time does not seem to have been released on record (the only album releases I could find are from decades later). So that makes it extremely unlikely that it would have been the point of reference or source of Flugel Street's fame, which seems lost to us now. So I'm taking off the talk box (at some point, with further research, it could probably be worked into vaudeville though). -- Andrew Leal (talk) 20:10, November 6, 2009 (UTC)

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki